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New Rules for 2015

New OSHA Notifications

If you are already keeping OSHA records but have never had any serious injuries at your company, these new rules won’t make any difference to you. Right now, companies need to report only if there are three or more hospitalizations. There are also no current requirements for reporting amputations or eye losses. Beginning 1/1/15, employers will have to tell OSHA about:

* Fatalities, within 8 hours

* In-patient hospitalization of one or more workers, within 24 hours

* Amputations or losses of an eye, within 24 hours.

For many of my small clients, their Workers’ Compensation insurance carriers will help them with this process. If you need any assistance with your OSHA records, please e-mail me at paula@hrcompliance101.com

New Cell Phone Law

For several years now, I have been educating my clients about providing hands-free devices to their employees who are on the road and likely to be taking or making phone calls during the course of their day. The majority of my clients have added the following language to their job descriptions:

“Unless you are using a hands-free device, using a cell phone or other communication device while operating a motor vehicle on Company business is not allowed.”

We ask employees to stop their vehicles before talking or responding to incoming calls or pages. However, stopping is not permitted on Interstate 495 or 93. Cars can pull into the breakdown lane only for emergencies. Hands-free devices solve this problem.

I truly thought that the federal laws against government employees’ texting while driving would roll out in all states and with all drivers. It hasn’t happened yet, but effective 7/1/15, NH will become one of thirteen states that ban talking while driving and one of 44 that do not allow texting. Drivers won’t be able to use handheld devices while on the road or while temporarily stopped in traffic. People can still make 911 Emergency calls or use hands-free devices such as Bluetooths. They can also still use the one-handed, two-way radio.

If a driver is under 18, the requirements are much stricter. They can be subject to penalties in addition to license suspension or revocation. So, if you have children or know any drivers under 18, let them know they should get in the habit now before it costs them, in more than one way.

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